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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Duprey

Stop Scaring New Moms! | Fear Mongering Vs. Empowerment | Wisdom from a Young Mom | Wilmington DE Baby Photographer

A young Wilmington Delaware mother kisses her baby during an intimate postpartum session with photographer Alexandra Duprey.

"As new mothers we often hear "just wait until..." It was always scary to hear people with more experience share the downsides of parenthood. Nobody ever really prepares you for what you are going to go through. You do it tired, you do it hungry, you do it with milk dripping down your leg! I never thought waking up in the middle of the night would have been something I looked forward to, but the rubs, the smiles, the cries to know my baby needs me. I fell in love with myself by looking at her, my nose suddenly became flawless! To know that our children have picked us to be their mother is the most rewarding feeling. Just wait until they look at you like you are their everything, until they cry because all they want is you, when you’re up late at night starring at them sleep so peacefully. The comfort we bring is like no other. Looking back sometimes feels like a blur yet within those times all they could see is us. I found what I was made for, and now all I can say is "I can’t wait until!"

A young Wilmington Delaware mother plays with her baby during an intimate postpartum session with photographer Alexandra Duprey.

I agree wholeheartedly with this mama's words-- I have cherished every stage, from newborn to the terrible twos, to the preteen era we are now entering with my older girls. I have had to overcome my fair share of scare tactics along the way and know first hand how difficult it can be to not gutted sucked into an anxious spiral as a new parent. As a Wilmington Delaware baby photographer, I have heard a lot of pregnant first-time mamas express worry about fear-mongering stories they have been told by well meaning experienced parents.

Expectant parents are often navigating through a minefield of unsolicited advice and ominous warnings. From well-meaning strangers in the grocery line, to coworkers, and loved ones. Every experienced parent seems to have a cautionary tale or a foreboding "just you wait" moment to share. But can we pause for a moment and consider the impact of these words on new parents-to-be?

Let's dissect those three words: "just you wait." While seemingly innocuous, they carry a weighty implication. What are we waiting for? More often than not, the follow-up tends to focus on the challenges: the sleepless nights, the incessant crying, and the overwhelming exhaustion. And yes, these are all part of the parenting journey, but do we really need to instill fear in expectant parents?

A young Wilmington Delaware mother holds her baby during an intimate postpartum session with photographer Alexandra Duprey.

Becoming a parent is undeniably scary. There's no instruction manual, no roadmap to follow, and no guaranteed outcomes. The transition into parenthood is a whirlwind of emotions, uncertainties, and newfound responsibilities. This mama reflects on her postpartum, "I didn't think I’d still be bleeding. I never knew how stressful taking a shower by myself would be and that I would constantly hear crying that isn’t there. I worry of not making enough breastmilk." The last thing expectant parents need is a barrage of fear-inducing anecdotes to add to their own internal monologue.

Instead of perpetuating the culture of fear mongering, let's flip the script. New parents should be supported, encouraged, and empowered. It's about lifting each other up during the highs and the lows, rather than adding unnecessary anxiety to an already overwhelming experience.

Imagine if, instead of hearing:

"You just wait until they're up every two hours!"

"You just wait until they've got colic and are screaming inconsolably for hours!"

"You just wait until you're sleep deprived and exhausted and desperately need a shower!"

"You just wait until they start getting into everything!"

Expectant parents were met with:

"Call me when you need to vent."

"I know those newborn days can be tough. Can I bring over some coffee or lunch?"

"Just wait until your baby smiles! It is so magical."

"Just wait until they start crawling and come into their own!"

"I'm here for you."

A young Wilmington Delaware mother holds her baby who spits up during an intimate postpartum session with photographer Alexandra Duprey.

These subtle shifts in language can make a world of difference. It is all about offering empathy, validation, and practical support to new parents as they navigate the rollercoaster of parenthood.

Now, I'm not here to shame anyone who has ever uttered those fear-inducing phrases. We've all been there, myself included (both of my boys have swallowed coins and been rushed to the Emergency Room!). But I urge us to reflect on the impact of our words and to strive for change. Let's create a culture of positivity, resilience, and solidarity in parenthood.

To all the expectant parents out there, as you embark on this incredible journey, remember this: You are capable, you are resilient, and you are not alone. And instead of dwelling on the challenges that lie ahead, let's celebrate the magic, the joy, and the immense love that parenthood brings. Together, we can rewrite the narrative and embrace the beauty of this extraordinary journey called parenthood.

A young Wilmington Delaware mother loves on  her baby during an intimate postpartum session with photographer Alexandra Duprey.

Are you ready to capture the beauty of your motherhood journey? As a Wilmington DE baby photographer, I would love to empower you with images that show the loving bond you have with your baby and how far you have already come!

Learn more about my motherhood sessions HERE.

Say yes to support and no to fear mongering – you've got this!

A young Wilmington Delaware mother plays with her baby during an intimate postpartum session with photographer Alexandra Duprey.

a mother cuddles her baby during a Wilmington Delaware motherhood photo session with photographer Alexandra Duprey.

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